Continuing the guest post series, today I’m pleased to feature Miss Christina Channelle, who will ruminate with us on the wondrous journey of a self-published author. Read on!
My Journey as a New Author
Hello! Christina Channelle here.
This is my first time doing a guest post so bear with me. Thanks, Michelle for allowing me to share my words today on your blog. 🙂
What I wanted to discuss was my journey since taking the plunge to self-publish my first book. I first discovered my love for reading one summer long, long ago. I was ten years old and bored out of my mind for some reason or another. I decided to open up a book stashed somewhere in my room, yet never had the urge to read until that very moment.
That single action of turning that first page changed my life forever. I realized that words thrown together could create another world unlike my own; with ghosts, vampires, and things that go bump in the night the main attraction. I read every book that I could get my hands on until I practically read every young adult novel in my public library. I was a fiend, let me tell you. Then as I fell asleep at night, or daydreamed while in class, stories would conjure up in my mind that I just had to write down. The first story that I wrote was back in high school and is now my first self-published book, Dahlia. Simply, it’s about a normal girl who realizes she’s not quite so normal.
Here’s the prologue below:
I was five when I knew something was different about me.
My first memory.
I had no recollection of who my parents were or what they even looked like. All I knew was that I was alone at the orphanage, disconnected from the outside world. I picture it even now, almost like an oil painting: the thick bristles of the paintbrush created the bright blue sky as it connected to the shockingly white snow. The snow blanketed everything around me, as if protecting me, the green forest displayed at every angle.
The orphanage was out of place in such a nature-infused environment. A large, two-story building, its windows seemed to cover almost every surface. I remembered the brightness of the sun as it hit my sleepy face through one of those many windows. It would instantly warm my body, greeting me to yet another day.
Vines covered old gray bricks as they coursed over the external surface of the orphanage. I had nightmares about those same vines making their way into my room as I slept. They’d appear ominously as their shadows pounded against the walls, taunting me as a storm brewed on outside. Venturing toward my bed, the vines would slither across my body, trapping me in place. One would wrap around my neck, squeezing tightly, as I struggled for air. Rendered frozen, the feeling of fear would take hold, bubbling up deep inside my chest. And as I felt the burning pain in my throat, a thought would flash through my mind of this moment being my last. It never was, though, as I would instantly wake up.
I always did have a wild imagination.
To chase away the terror, I would stand before my windowpane the morning after. Sighing in relief, my eyes would be drawn to the vast forest off in the distance. It surrounded the orphanage, like a gatekeeper, the leaves of the trees bristling in irritation. The wind blew right through those tall structures, whistling, as my ears picked up the all too familiar sound.
I somehow found myself standing directly in front of that very forest. My memory was hazy on exactly how I got there but I recalled waking up, after one of my many dreams, to the feeling of immense hunger as my body stirred in discomfort.
Then suddenly I was at the foot of the forest.
I would not describe the sensation as simple hunger. I would almost describe it as a feeling of starvation, like there was some essential component my body was missing. Whatever it was, this need was so powerful I was weak in the knees with the pain; my belly contracted and released, contracted and released, continually. Food provided temporary relief for me, but there was always this presence in the corner of my mind as my brain searched for the one thing my body craved.
I ignored that nagging voice in my head, the one whispering for the one thing I needed. It was something unfathomable yet inherent. I paid it no attention and just openly stared at the forest beckoning me. Taking shallow breaths, the cool air blew in and out between my cold, chapped lips.
It was at that exact moment I realized the forest isolated me from everything and everyone outside of its confines—almost like a hungry bird circling its prey. Even young, my instincts picked up on that, immediately telling me something.
Eyes were watching me.
Excerpt from Dahlia (Blood Crave Series, #1) Copyright © 2012
Dahlia was supposed to be a standalone book, but then the character, Rowan, came to me and, poof, a series was born. More than ten years later, the first two books in the series (along with a novella) are complete. Although I love the story and characters of the Blood Crave Series, I find it difficult when I get other story ideas that I want to focus on instead. So here I am, juggling writing numerous stories at once, going through the editing process, formatting, figuring out marketing strategies … it does get quite overwhelming at times. And then I end up spending my time on everything except writing, the very thing that I love to do. It’s especially hard when, like many indie authors, you’re juggling work and/or school in the process.
Do I find self-publishing hard? Yes.
The hardest thing for me was learning everything on your own: formatting an ebook, formatting the print book, creating a book cover, marketing, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Once you do it the first time, creating a book is actually quite simple. I think the hardest thing about writing and self-publishing is making the time to write when you have to do everything on your own.
But I never regret taking this path, not for a second.
My journey as a new author? Well, I’m still travelling. It’s hard at times, there are bumps along the road, but I’m having a blast. I’ve met other great indie authors, discovered awesome reads, and essentially have grown as a writer. This is all a learning experience for me. I don’t know exactly where my journey will lead too but I might as well enjoy the ride. Because that, in itself, will make me happy.
And that’s all everyone wants to be, right?
If you wish to read up on my ramblings as a new author, check out my blog at www.channellewrites.wordpress.com. You can also like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChristinaChannelle and/or follow me on Twitter @channellewrites.
Thanks for reading!
Unrelated media of the day:
What if Disney villains were young and beautiful?
Love the Disney villains. I’m just struck by how sad they all seem. They have more fun when they’re old and saggy, clearly.
I’m loving young Captain Hook a bit more than I ought to, though. Disturbing. 🙂
Great post – enjoyed reading about the experience of self-publishing!